In May 2017, the South African National Treasury’s procurement unit – whose main purpose is to maximize value for the government’s procurement budget as well as rein in leakages in public expenditure – issued a report on the country’s annual expenditure on goods and services which was close to R600-billion.
Inconsistencies within competitive tender processes; overpricing by suppliers; and the purchase of more goods than needed by government departments were found to be the main aggregators, and remain a big concern in the procurement processes.

As such, government has seen massive spending cuts which hope to reduce the budget deficit to 2,6% of national output by 2019/20.

“Our aim is to save R25 billion per annum through better procurement practices that would deal with waste, corruption and fraud,” says Schalk Human, acting head of the Treasury’s procurement unit.

Analytics software firm FICO has announced that the latest version of its solution for identifying fraud, waste and abuse in procurement is now available on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

FICO Falcon Assurance Navigator applies advanced analytics to monitor the entire procure-to-pay lifecycle across procurement, T&E expenses, and purchasing/travel cards, as well as suspicious vendor behaviour.

“In today’s era of greater corporate accountability, it’s absolutely essential for organizations to take a comprehensive and systematic approach to rooting out unauthorised, wasteful or fraudulent spending activity,” says Doug Clare, vice-president of product management at FICO. “However, this is hard, because spending is spread across multiple systems. This results in internal audits that are manually intensive and focused on a small subset of transactions.

“By leveraging advanced analytics and continuous monitoring of all transactions, we help organizations identify far more unusual or incorrect transactions, and give their audit teams the time to focus on transactions and patterns that really need their attention.”

Falcon Assurance Navigator analyzes a broad spectrum of transactions, including T&E expenses, purchase requisitions, purchase orders, invoices, payment requests, purchasing and travel cards. The solution applies a risk-based approach that helps organizations adhere to multiple compliance regimes, including in-house policies, government and private grant requirements, and departmental guidelines.

“Falcon Assurance Navigator on AWS combines the power of FICO advanced analytics and the benefits of AWS,” says Clare. “FICO customers now have a lower-cost solution that can dynamically scale to handle challenging swings in transaction volumes as well as high loads during peak usage.”

FICO Falcon Assurance Navigator integrates with enterprise procurement and expense management systems including Oracle, PeopleSoft, Jaggaer, and Concur in order to monitor 100 percent of transactions in-line.